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Wire’ star Reg E. Cathey, who played Norman Wilson &  Freddy Hayes on ‘House of Cards,’ dies at 59

Wire’ star Reg E. Cathey, who played Norman Wilson & Freddy Hayes on ‘House of Cards,’ dies at 59


Reg E. Cathey, who starred in the seminal TV series The Wire and who won an Emmy portraying BBQ joint owner Freddy Hayes in House of Cards, has died at age 59.

Netflix, which has produced House of Cards, released a statement Friday.

“We are heartbroken by the passing of our friend and House of Cards colleague Reg E. Cathey. Reg was the kindest man, the most giving actor, a true gentlemen. Our sympathy goes to his family,” the statement said.

While there were no details immediately about Cathey’s passing, Wire creator David Simon tweeted a tribute.

“Reg Cathey, 1958-2018. Not only a fine, masterful actor — but simply one of the most delightful human beings with whom I ever shared some long days on set,” Simon wrote. “On wit alone, he could double any man over and leave him thinking. Reg, your memory is a great blessing.”

Cathey earned raves on HBO’s The Wire as Baltimore political operative Norman Wilson and portrayed warden Martin Querns in HBO’s prison drama Oz from 2000 to 2003. He returned  to HBO to star in the Oprah Winfrey movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack last year.

The baritone-voiced actor earned an Emmy award for his poignant House of Cards character — Hayes was the hard-working BBQ joint owner with the ribs beloved by politician Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey).

Cathey earned three Emmy nominations for the role he played from 2013 to 2016, winning in 2015.

House of Cards creator Beau Willimon wrote on Twitter. “Reg Cathey was one of a kind.”

“Brimming with life force, generosity, humor, gravitas and a fountain of talent. Loved by everyone lucky enough know him and work with him,” Willimon wrote. “He will be greatly missed.”

The versatile actor transformed to play boxing promoter Don King in the 2016 drama Hands of Stone.

Hollywood reacted to the passing, including Samuel L. Jackson, who tweeted he was “shattered at the loss of Reg E. Cathey! Brilliant actor, humorist & friend! Irreplaceable! The ancestors about to be challenged!!”

Miles Teller, who starred alongside Cathey’s Dr. Franklin Storm in the The Fantastic Four reboot, tweeted:”Reg was an incredibly kind and wonderful person with a vibrant love for the arts. He would bring his saxophone to set and serenade everyone at base camp during breaks. Rest In Peace my friend.”

Actor Bobby Cannavale tweeted that “we lost a sweet, sweet man and a sweet, sweet, SWEET artist today.”


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Bilal Ali

February 11th, 2018

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